Thursday, April 4, 2013


It's a cruel world we live in...
here on the edge of the woods.

We suffered a horrible loss in the brooder house Tuesday night.
Yesterday morning we found three decapitated chicklets in the house.
We have no other evidence of what transpired except the remains.


You have no idea how sad this makes me.
Sick in the stomach...desperate sadness.
I have these little souls in my charge, and somehow I have failed them.

I can only guess that a weasel or mink slunk into the house and found an easy dinner.

Needless to say, I packed up my tiny charges and moved them into the barn.
A large and deep unused water tub will serve as home for a week or two, 
until they are larger and I go over the brooder house with a fine tooth comb...
looking for any holes that would allow a varmint to enter.

Of course I also had to assure that no barn kitty could make dinner out of them,
so the water tub is safely covered with wire.
Heat lamps will keep the cold away (our nights are still in the 20's).

Farm life offers constant reminders of how brutal the natural world is.
I try my hardest to shield the farm animals from predators,
but sometimes I am out-witted.

On another note, Smilin' Jill wanted to say howdy and give you a news
report from the goat pen.

It seems that O'Malley and Sally are shedding their luxurious winter coats...
a Springtime tradition.
These two redheaded mother/daughter beauties grow the most
amazing cashmere coats each winter...
giving them a more sheep-like appearance.

Sally, once as fluffy as her mother (above) has already changed into her
summer duds and is looking sleek.

For some reason, O'Malley is holding onto her coat...
perhaps it is the cold nights we've been experiencing.

O'Malley, being much older and wiser, knows the value in not putting away your
winter wardrobe too early in the season.

"These kids," says Jill, "just don't have any common sense!"


  1. With every loss, I too feel that somehow I have let my charges down. I grieve for every one. But it does seem that every loss has guided me into making their areas more secure. It is a challenge, but the reward is great.

  2. Definitely not a mink. A mink would have killed them all and left the entire thing. In this area we're mink experts.

  3. I'm sure the predator will come back, they always could set a live trap to see "who" it is! ~Kim

  4. No matter how hard you try to keep your animals safe, Mother Nature finds a way to feed hers. I'm so sorry.

  5. Oh what a heart break!! Part of life but it stilll hurts so much for us when it happens on our watch...big hugs! No matter how careful we are these things happen so don't be to hard on yourself..easier said than done!!

    A lovely sunny day finally here with NO WIND!! Oh my have we had windy days. Have had enough of

    Judi B.

  6. Sad for the chickies . . . happy they are now protected . . . you have a huge job working the Acres . . . understatement indeed.

    Great visiting you always . . . sad with this news though . . .

  7. Sorry for the loss of the chicks ! I hope they are safe from this predator now ! Yes nature can be kind and cruel ! Lovely photos ! Have a good day !

  8. So sorry to hear about the chicks. Those predators can be nasty. Hope you find where they got the chicks. Love the sleek summer look of the goats!

  9. Oh no! I sure you know how bad I feel. Hopefully they will be safe until they get a little bigger. I picked up two more darling chicks yesterday and I'm keeping a very watchful eye.

  10. Well, darn it! I've heard that weasels also kill several at one time, but they are the sneakiest predators. It's so hard to protect those little ones. Hopefully you can find the point of entry and fix it.
    On another note, goats' teeth are just so amusing in photos.

  11. oh no!!! i swear, teddy was here all night. smilin'jill looks like the 'doggy dentures' tv add.

  12. So sorry..I know that you are full of self blame but it's sometimes hard to outwit mother nature..Could it have been one of the cats ??? a bird?? I'm sure you have them safely tucked away now..Can't the predators get in to the barn ??? I'm sure you've done as much as you can..Hope for the remainders safety..

  13. I had a red tail hawk eat one of my free roaming girls the other day, shame on me for not being home while they were roaming, ugh!!.. so sorry to hear of your loss, do you have fisher cats in your area? They decapitate their prey and don't eat them. Weird.

  14. Oh my goodness....I'm so sorry about the chicks. Nature is so cruel! When the coyotes got two of my hens, I balled like a baby!!!
    : (

  15. I tend to agree with Lisa, as I have suffered a weasel attack and they are vicious and leave nothing alive. An owl? Would have to be a small one. That is such a shame - but you are right. No matter how hard we try, we are not always able to outsmart a hungry predator. I am sorry for your losses. What beautiful goats, O'Malley and Sally are! I love their red coloring.

  16. Sorry to hear of the loss of the chicks : ( I remember my aunt would keep her new chicks in the farmhouse until they they were a bit bigger. Maybe due to this or she just like keeping them close when they were o young. As kids we always thought this was a great idea of corse! Love those goats! Patty/BC

  17. I'm so sorry to hear the news about your little babies. :( Hugs, Meghan

  18. So sorry about the chicks.. it is truly a cruel world. I know that I will have to face these challenges if I ever get a brood but for now I will learn by your example. The goats, in their various stages of shedding, look absolutely marvelous!

  19. It is certainly sad about the loss of the chicks, but don't be so hard on yourself. In the end, you will make their home a safer place. It is impossible to put yourself in the mind of every possible preditor.
    It might be worth putting a live trap in the brooder house to see if they try to strike again & let you identify the culprit and how it got in.
    Love those toothy goats getting ready for warmer weather.

  20. How very sad, I'm so sorry about the chicklets.

    The goats are adorable!

  21. Sorry about your chicks. A rat maybe?

    What do you do with your goat brushings? The soft fuzz.


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